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New Faces in Political Methodology

The Penn State Quantitative Social Science Initiative (QuaSSI) is pleased to present New Faces in Political Methodology VI, a conference featuring presentations of work from current graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.

All are welcome to attend. Please contact QuaSSI Director, Burt Monroe, if you have any questions.

Saturday, April 27, 2013.
All events in the Cybertorium (IST 113).
Time Speaker  
8:45 Chad Hazlett
ABD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

“Kernel Regularized Least Squares: Moving Beyond Linearity and Additivity Without Sacrificing Interpretability.”
(with Jens Hainmueller)

Chad is a PhD candidate in Political Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His research seeks to extend the range of circumstances in which credible causal inference is possible, with particular application to my substantive interests in the causal antecedents and consequences of mass violence. He is especially interested in extending and translating techniques from machine learning and psychology to help solve inference and measurement problems in political science. His current work includes extension of kernel-based learning algorithms to solve social science modeling problems; robustness testing of implicit methods for measuring sensitive attitudes; using survey data to estimate the micro-level effects of exposure to violence in Sudan; and field experiments in Yemen and China. Prior to MIT, he received a B.S. in Cognitive Neuroscience from Duke and a Masters in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School.

9:30 Olga Chyzh
ABD, University of Iowa

“Tell Me Who Your Friends Are: An Endogenous Model of International Network Formation and Effect.”

Olga is a PhD Candidate in Political Science at the University of Iowa, studying political methodology and international relations. Her research focuses on the intersection between international relations and domestic politics, specifically on the effect of state membership in international networks on domestic decision-making. Her dissertation, "Tell Me Who Your Friends Are: An Endogenous Model of International Network Formation and Effect," builds on insights from sociology and network analysis to model domestic reform as an outcome of a two-part endogenous process of states' choice of location in the international trade network and the resulting structural incentives of the network. Methodologically, she is interested in spatial econometrics, inferential network analysis, and modeling endogeneity within a spatial context.

10:15 Break

10:30 Matthew Hitt
ABD, Ohio State University

“Improving Inferences From Multiple Structural Change Models.”

Matt is a PhD candidate in Political Science at The Ohio State University. His research focuses on American political institutions, especially the United States Supreme Court, quantitative methodology, and legislative politics. In his dissertation, he explores the frequency and dynamics of inconsistencies between the Supreme Court's judgments and legal rationales. Using original observational, experimental, and archival data, he seeks to better understand how the Court's precedents vary in their impact on the law and society, and how institutional reforms can improve the Court's output. In other work, he explores the effect of interest group power on judicial decision making, the causal effect of committee promotions on party loyalty in Congress, and presidential success in Supreme Court appointments. His methodological research interests include time series analysis, network analysis, and causal inference.

11:15 K. Elizabeth Coggins
ABD, University of North Carolina

“Beyond the Thermostat: Lessons from Policy-Specific Public Opinion.”
(with James A. Stimson, Mary Layton Atkinson, and Frank R. Baumgartner)

Elizabeth is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her dissertation research centers on understanding the dearth of modern-day liberal identifiers, using new author-designed measures from the CCES to understand the non-political symbols and groups individuals tie to "liberals" and "conservatives," and automated content analysis of 70 years of newspaper content to understand the origins of these symbols. Other research interests include public opinion, policy mood, and political psychology.

12:00 Lunch, West Atrium

1:15 In Song Kim
ABD, Princeton University

“Political Cleavages within Industry: Firm level lobbying for Trade Liberalization.”

In Song Kim is a PhD candidate in Politics and a Harold W. Dodds Fellow at Princeton University. His research focuses on international political economy and political methodology. In Song's dissertation examines firm-level political incentives to lobby for trade liberalization. He is interested in “Big Data” analysis of international trade. He is also interested in developing methodologies for causal inference with panel data.

2:00 Jennifer Pan
ABD, Harvard University

“Measuring the Goals and Incentives of Local Chinese Officials.”

Jennifer is a fourth-year PhD candidate in Government at Harvard University. Her research focuses on Chinese politics and the politics of authoritarian regimes, in particular the interaction between citizens and ruling autocrats and how methods of text analysis, photo analysis, and survey experiments can be used to measure different components of these interactions. Jennifer's dissertation examines political responsiveness in social welfare provision among Chinese cities. Other projects look at the politics of censorship and measures of corruption.

2:45 Break

3:00 Keith Schnakenberg
ABD, Washington University - St. Louis

“Scoring from Contests.”
(with Elizabeth Maggie Penn)

Keith is a Ph.D. candidate at Washington University in St Louis focusing on formal theory and political methodology. His research explains how informational concerns affect political participation and collective decision-making in legislatures and electorates. Furthermore, he is pursuing several methodological research projects to improve methods for ranking, scoring, and measurement.